Retailers and consumer goods firms have been quick to embrace initiatives that claim to bolster their sustainability credentials, without doing their homework first. David Burrows reports. This article appeared in ESM’s November/December 2023 edition.
In 2013, researchers at the University of Gävle, in Sweden, conducted a ‘fun’ experiment in which students were given two cups of coffee: one – so they were told – was ‘eco-friendly’ and the other was not. Most said that they preferred the taste of the eco-friendly one, but both coffees were, in fact, identical.
This is now dated research and involves only a small sample, however, it shows the potential power of marketing products as environmentally friendly or ethical (or both).